FRIDAY FORECAST: I ain’t got time to bleed

Posted by · 4:27 pm · July 9th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

Summer keeps puttering along and based on the reaction to Kris’s multiple posts on the subject, we’re all just biding our time until “Inception” comes out. I knew people wanted to see it, but I can’t remember the last time people were refreshing their browsers to see a couple of reviews.

Nolan’s latest is still a week away though, and we have other business to cover. Mainly, some weird cartoon and the re-imagining of an 80’s action classic. Weeks ago I had this pegged as an easy weekend for “Predators” to win, but Fox has lowballed the screen count and skimped on the marketing for what should have been a no-brainer. So, let’s start with “Despicable Me.”

Universal has released a grand total of two computer animated films before this week. The first was the $14.4 million grossing Veggie Tales movie, “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything”, which I didn’t see because I think Christian vegetables are weird, but still think it’s one of the best titles of all time. Their second release was the $56.3 million wonder, “The Tale of Despereaux.”

Not exactly known for this particular medium, they have nevertheless gone for broke promoting “Despicable Me” and should see it pay off. I only saw the first, god awful, offensive trailer so I have no idea what the movie is about or what those little alien guys are but I’ve seen them EVERYWHERE. If I was five years old, I would already have demanded three happy meals to collect their set.

It’s a bit ballsy marketing an unknown property on minor characters before we get a chance to confirm them as scene-stealers, but that’s Universal’s approach. The presence of Steve Carell and villain-as-hero approach will coax a few teenagers and adults to check out the film so we could see an opening around $32 million.

“Predators” should have been this summer’s “Freddy vs. Jason” ($48.0 million opening) but Fox has only put it on 2,669 screens where even a really solid $11,000 per theater average would net it $29 million. The perception of it being a big film is sort of deflated and now that number doesn’t even seem plausible. Something along the lines of $25 million would be good considering, but with decent reviews floating in, I can’t figure out why this one was slept on by Fox.

You got good reviews for a movie about Predators for God’s sake! Put it in every theater available! Do it! Run! Get to the choppah!

But enough foreplay- I know you’re all anxious to know what’s going to happen with “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” A subdued $64.8 million weekend was the result of major front-loading from the Wednesday debut and means the second weekend drop doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It’ll still probably fall around 55% since these kids only have so much allowance money and that would probably put it behind “Despicable Me” for the top spot.

“The Last Airbender” somehow did really well and I’d like to assume that word of mouth is toxic but that hasn’t been the case with the weekday numbers. This thing could pull another $20 million for the weekend and pass $100 million in the process. That’s $10 million per positive review on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Toy Story 3” could feasibly take a hit from “Despicable Me” but should still have enough in the tank for another $15 million+ weekend which could be just enough to pass “Alice in Wonderland” as the top grossing film of 2010 so far. Your move Nolan.

Another mild expansion should keep “Cyrus” in the top 10 conversation while huge arthouse numbers for “The Kids Are All Right” should also be expected.

What are you guys seeing? World Cup Final takes all precedence with me but I’m still trying to get out there for “Knight and Day.”

What are you guys seeing this weekend?

→ 18 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

18 responses so far

  • 1 7-09-2010 at 4:32 pm

    Matt T said...

    Go Holland!

  • 2 7-09-2010 at 4:32 pm

    Will said...

    Knight and Day and Despicable Me

  • 3 7-09-2010 at 4:38 pm

    Josh said...

    I’m not exactly dying to see Despicable Me, but I have to ask: what about that trailer did you find offensive? God-awful, I get. Offensive, not really.

  • 4 7-09-2010 at 5:00 pm

    Sarah El said...

    I’m really not up for any of the movies. I almost saw Despicable Me today, but I couldn’t muster up the energy and bought some new shorts and skulked around a bookstore instead.

    I really am just biding my time until Inception.

  • 5 7-09-2010 at 5:18 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Offensive to my intelligence not my morals.

  • 6 7-09-2010 at 5:40 pm

    Brady said...

    My friend quite literally dragged me to Despicable Me last night at Midnight. He laughed until he died, I’d give it a “Watchable.”

    I’m driving way to far to see The Kids Are All Right. It’s been on my radar since it was added late to Sundance and I always trust in Annette Bening. Here’s hoping it’s good.

  • 7 7-09-2010 at 6:14 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Actually, I’d agree the “Despicable Me” teaser trailer was offensive, and not just to the intelligence. Its lazy, crude stereotyping of Americans is quite off-putting.

  • 8 7-09-2010 at 6:20 pm

    Bryan said...

    Saw Winter’s Bone tonight, and I get where Kris is coming from with the Southern backwoods cliches (going from this movie every southern woman is perpetually standing outside their open door in the middle of winter with an ominously threatening look on their face waiting for unwanted kin), but it’s a good enough drama, and yes, Lawrence is good.

  • 9 7-09-2010 at 6:50 pm

    Estefan said...

    Looking forward to seeing Despicable Me. I thought the first couple of trailers were extremely under-whelming, but the more I see of it the more it interests me. It’s insane how lately a lot of animated films seem to have trailers that don’t show a lot of what’s so good about the final result, instead editing them to make them look rather un-appealing. How to Train Your Dragon, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Surf’s Up, Kung Fu Panda all had trailers that did not do those films justice whatsoever.

    I’m pretty sure Tangled will be a similar case as many people working on the film have said the final product is nothing like how the marketeers are selling it.

  • 10 7-09-2010 at 7:14 pm

    Glenn said...

    “Predators” is a fun, bloody, action movie. You’re right in questioning the release of it. Not sure what they’re doing there.

  • 11 7-09-2010 at 7:50 pm

    MovieMan said...

    “Despicable Me” is hugely enjoyable. Is it perfect? Far from it. Does it linger in the memory afterward? No. But it’s a lot of colorful, amusing fun, on par with “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Toy Story 3” for my money.

    “Predators” has discrepancies out the wazoo, but it’s bloody good fun, and makes up for the letdowns of “Alien vs. Predator,” “Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem,” and “Predator 2.”

  • 12 7-09-2010 at 10:15 pm

    Josh said...

    To comment #7, I’ll say that the original trailer was a strange attempt at not giving anything away. I wasn’t offended by the representation of Americans, but I can see the point. At the very least, it’s a bad trailer, because all it tells me is that there’s either a seemingly pointless scene about a fake pyramid or a waste of a teaser.

  • 13 7-09-2010 at 10:16 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    If I see anything soon, it’ll be Mother and Child at the local arthouse.

  • 14 7-10-2010 at 1:09 am

    BJT said...

    In the UK we’ve got London River (Brenda Blethyn and Sotigui Kouyat√© looking for their children following the 7/7 terrorist attack) opening quietly this weekend. That’s getting my money if I can find a cinema with it.

  • 15 7-10-2010 at 10:07 am

    George said...

    Friday estimates:
    Despicable Me – $21M
    Predators – $9.5M

  • 16 7-11-2010 at 6:21 am

    JJ said...

    Since I am besides myself … anyone care to explain to me why I liked ‘The Last Airbender’ despite it’s obvious quality/execution problems? haha

    I guess I fell into the Shyamalan ‘tone’ of it. Liked the visuals, liked the score, liked the kids, despite the middle school drama class acting.

    I just kinda dug it; all while knowing it’s putrid on so many levels.

    Someone help!

  • 17 7-11-2010 at 7:58 am

    David said...

    Take it from me Kris, Inception won’t be the blockbuster you hope it would be. It ain’t no Dark Knight. And that jaw-ful looking actor is not exactly a mega box office draw since that sinking ship movie.

  • 18 7-11-2010 at 8:55 pm

    SJG said...

    It’s okay JJ… I’m in the same boat.

    I’m pretty sure I liked Airbender mostly because I know I would have really adored it when I was about nine and it’s been a while since I’ve seen an old-school, excruciatingly preteen sort of movie that actually had a little pizzazz along with its obvious defects.

    I think it falls somewhere on a spectrum between “Kazaam” and “Hook”… the former being a really bad family movie that I loved as a kid, the latter being an actually pretty good movie that falls into some direly awful ’90s kid movie traps.